This month’s E-Health Insider industry round-up covers new and upgraded products, system deployments and other developments at leading healthcare IT suppliers.

Eizo supports Sectra in Northern Ireland

Monitor manufacturer Eizo has been chosen to provide medical monitors for the Swedish medical IT company Sectra, which is installing PACS at Northern Ireland’s hospitals. The Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has signed a ten year deal for PACS in 25 hospitals, in a deal worth £30m. A number of Eizo monitor types will be used. Sectra and Eizo have already worked together on a digital mammography project in Southern Ireland.

North Mersey HIS cuts print carbon load

North Mersey Health Informatics Service is working to reduce the carbon footprint of IT in its partner organisations and has been addressing the impact of printing with PretonSaver. This is software that reduces the amount of toner and ink used by printers, tracks print jobs and produces management reports. It has already been installed at the Walton Centre, which has made cash and environmental savings equivalent to 2,601kg of CO2. The HIS aims to roll-out PretonSaver to other trusts over the next 12 months.

Tameside rolls out printed wristbands

Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has rolled-out a wristband and printing solution from P3 Medical and Toshiba. The trust implemented the wristbands in order to comply with National Patient Safety Agency guidelines and wanted the hospital to fully utilise computer generated bands before July 2009. Linda Harris, project manager at Tameside, said: “P3 Medical developed a future-proofed solution which enabled us to print from our existing patient Administration System directly to the Toshiba Desktop printers in our adult wards.”

Croydon uses SAS for drug treatment

Croydon’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team has started using SAS business analytics software to get more the right people into drug treatment, reduce drug-related crime and empower the local community to resist drug misuse. The software aims to allow the DAAT to commission services more effectively and target the borough’s resources to where they can have the biggest impact by delivering a joined up approach in allocating treatment. Ray Rajagopalan, data manager at Croydon’s DAAT said: “By using SAS, we can analyse the success and failure of specific treatment programmes and see whether our treatment structure actually meets the needs of the local population.”

Imaging Partners Online offers remote radiology reporting

Imaging Partners Online is offering remote radiology reporting from a purpose-designed centre in Richmond, West London. It says it can connect to hospital radiology systems anywhere in the UK, and help trusts with pressures such as the 18 week referral to treatment time target and implementing the European Working Time Directive. IPO describes itself as the market leader in Australia, and its UK-registered radiologists are already reporting for Australian hospitals overnight. In the future, the company hopes to use Australian GMC-registered radiologists to provide a reverse service for the UK. 

Intel adds connectivity to Health Guide

Intel has added further connectivity options to Health Guide, allowing customers to connect using broadband, mobile wireless and standard residential phone services. The Health Guide is Intel’s telehealth offering. It allows patients to monitor vital signs, set reminders, watch educational content and communicate with their GP or other health professionals. Simon Roberts co-principal investigator at Intel Digital Health Group, told E-Health Insider: “The new connectivity options are particularly important given that the digital divide means that around one-third of the population do not have broadband.”

Ascribe acquires iClinix

Ascribe has acquired the healthcare software and services business of iClinix Pty Ltd. Stephen Critchlow, chief executive of Ascribe, said the move would allow the two companies “to make best use of our combined expertise in delivering electronic prescribing in Australia and New Zealand as well as developing and delivering our clinical software across the board. Ascribe was particularly interested in iClinix’s renal and oncology systems and its Clinical Hand Over Task Management System software, which supports post-surgical handovers.

Clinical trials website launched

Charity DIPEx has launched a new section on Healthtalkonline to provide information about clinical trials. Based on research led by the DIPEx Health Experiences Research Group at Oxford University, the new section has video and audio interviews with more than 40 people about why they did or did not take part in clinical trials and their experiences. Louise Locock, deputy research director, said: “This research provides much-needed information on how people react to participation in trials, what their experiences have been and how they view the management of such trials, including after-care.”

Norfolk and Norwich launch podcasts for diabetics

The Jenny Lind Children’s Department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has started using podcasts to provide young diabetics with free lifestyle advice. The podcasts, which the trust believes are the first of their kind in the county, allow visitors to the trust’s website to download them to an MP3 player for free. There are eight podcasts covering themes from how to cope with diabetes, diabetes and drinking and the myths about diabetes. Dr Datta, who worked to develop the podcasts, said: “These are frank and honest podcasts that have been produced to speak to young people on their own terms and not in technical or medical language.”